The ultimate purpose of Buddhism, and for that matter all religions, is to serve and benefit man.
The Dalai Lama
To Serve and Benefit
Topic: Interfaith Pathways
“Buddhism is one of the many religions which teaches us to be less selfish and more compassionate. It teaches us to be humane, altruistic and to think of others in the way we think for ourselves. Our daily thoughts and actions should be directed towards the benefit of others.
Mahayana emphasizes self-sacrifice and the development of altruism, while Theravada teaches us the importance of not harming others. The practice of Buddhism in essence is, therefore, not to harm others under any circumstances, and to help others as much as possible. By living in society we should share the sufferings of our fellow beings and practice compassion and tolerance, not only towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies. This is the test of our strength and practice, and is what is stressed in Mahayana.
Only if we can set an example by our own practice, can we hope to convince others of the value of Dharma – not by mere words. We should engage in the same high standards of integrity and sacrifice that we ask of others.
The ultimate purpose of Buddhism, and for that matter all religions, is to serve and benefit man. That is why it is of the utmost importance for us to ensure that Buddhism is always employed to realize the happiness and peace of man and not to convert others or derive benefit from them.”
Tenzin Gyatso, born on July 6, 1935, is known globally as the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and former political leader of the Tibetan people. Born as Lhamo Thondup in a farming family in Taktser, Amdo, Tibet, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, when he was just two years old. As the Dalai Lama, he holds the highest spiritual position within Tibetan Buddhism and is seen as a figure of great moral authority and influence. Following China's invasion of Tibet in 1950, he assumed full political power in 1950 but was forced into exile in India in 1959 after the failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
The Dalai Lama is renowned for his messages of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, and compassion. He has authored numerous books and has lectured worldwide, becoming one of the most influential figures in the world of spirituality and philosophy. In recognition of his work for peace and non-violence, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Furthermore, his advocacy for the cultural and religious rights of the Tibetan people and his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Tibet through dialogue and understanding, rather than violence, have made him an internationally respected leader. Despite the political controversies and challenges, he remains committed to promoting human values and harmony among the world's religious traditions.
World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon. Universal Peace Federation, 2011, p. 385 [Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama].
The Dalai Lama
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